On Step 10 you did your cards.
Now it is time to start writing your movie script or pilot.
There’s very little I can do to help you get there except encourage you to write every day. I wake up first thing in the morning at 5 AM, and do my writing, sometimes I go back to bed from 8 to 10 AM, but for 3 hours, I use the very quiet of the morning to do as much writing done as possible.
Your cards are the scenes or set of scenes you will be writing. So I leave you with this little helpful set of questions.
I got this from John August's Website and I loved it and it has served me so well since I first saw it sometime in 2010. And I suggest you go read it here, and check out his book Arlo Finch, which is an underrated masterpiece. (I have a crush on all things John August, but I seriously think with his books he found his form.) But I digress, here are his suggestions for writing a scene and I can tell you they work.
HOW TO WRITE A SCENE IN 11 STEPS.
1. What needs to happen in this scene?
2. What's the worst that would happen if this scene were omitted?
3. Who needs to be in this scene?
4. Where could the scene take place?
5. What's the most surprising thing that could happen in the scene?
6. Is this a long scene or a short scene?
7. Brainstorm three different ways it could begin.
8. Play it on the screen in your head.
9. Write a scribble version. (Just list it out)
10. Write the Full Scene
11. Repeat as many times as needed.
Enjoy Writing! Do it Every day! even if it's just a page. It is so worth it. When you write from the heart, you will not believe the adventures life will send you on.
Apologies for the interruption. Over the last month, I had to deliver the plan for a nine part Event Series to a Streamer and so low and behold the blogging of the Mozzie system was interrupted.
Step 10 is all about carding - or filling out your cards. Which I still do and take as long as I can planning. The cards to me are the hardest part of the process for me, because you have to pay close attention to all the events.
There should be cause and effect to every card. One Card is not a stand-alone scene. To me, it makes me:
Question the card before, and have an effect on the card after, sometimes a decision made on card will play out in Card 12. Nevertheless, every card has to have a reason for being there.
Now, I know many people use Save the Cat, which I do not subscribe too as I find it limiting. As a creative writer, you should feel free to follow the rules, and break the rules. To believe in systems and disregard them. To throw yourself at your story in a way that makes sense to you. You will own that first draft, slowly, and carefully you will shape it into a story that works for mass audiences. However, that first draft should belong to crazy, unique, unbelievable visionary you. Tell it in a way that hones the storyteller in you and in a way that makes you feel inspired, alive and in the moment.
Therefore, while I do agree that it will need structure as a second or third draft, I normally do not marry one of those structures right away.
Because I believe that, we are all born storytellers. We have been telling stories since we were in caves. We have this gene, or this piece of our souls that was born to tell a story.
So, I say, do it the way that best suits you. If Save the Cat works for you. Use Save the Cat. Alternatively, use Steps 1 - 10 here on this blog. Remember, Do or Do Not. There is no try.
I love doing my cards in the way described below. It is fun, and forces me to think of the story in more unique ways. It is a lengthy process, but it is wildly fun, particularly if you've done all the other steps to bring you here. You have already answered so many of the questions. Using the system described below will actually be fun, and surprising. The only thing I add to the below is that I know that every card has a cause and effect, so make sure you are aware, every decision you make, creates an effect, creates tension or conflict on the card that follows it.
Until you get to the end of course!
Day 8 & 9 - Writing a screenplay with Mozzie.
The next two days, you are finally going to be outlining. You know have a scene at the beginning, a scene at the end, and a bridge scene somewhere in the middle. For the next 48 hours you are going to outline what happens from The Beginning of the movie to the middle, and then from the middle of the movie to the end.
This should give you less anxiety about having to outline the entire movie in one sit in, no, you are doing it by halves. Now there's a lot of ways to outline a film, and they're all gonna be individual to the writer. And this is should be as free associative as possible, though you are going to type it out, so that we can take a look at it and lay out the cards over the next few days.
My favorite way to outline is using this story telling advice by the creators of South Park. It's called "The But and Therefore" rule and It's a lot of fun for me to use, and it works.
Now Get to Outlining!
Day 7 - Step Seven
Today will be it, the last easy day before you dive into outlining, carding and writing. Today will be the last day you will have the day to yourself.
By this point, you have gone from title to beginnings and endings, and it's taking you longer than 7 days, because you had an entire week of world building.
By this point, you are either still writing and excited, or you have tested out the concept of your film by doing the early parts and reazlized that you don't have enough story and just stopped.
It could also be because 1. The concept is not turning you on enough to do the work. 2. If it's not making you run to the page with excitement and anticipation, why write it? (I may add that you want to attack all of life this wake, if it's not making you run to it with excitement and anticipation, why are you still doing it? living it? being about it?)
TODAY YOU WILL BE WRITING what I call a Bridge Scene. A scene in the middle. Either 12 words or the entire scene, sketch it out, write it as an outline, whatever makes you happy. But you know this scene exists cause you've already fantasized it.
I like to call this one my "Oscar Scene!" or my Pivot Scene, the scene in the middle of a film where the story pivots in the direction of the ending you think you are going to have.
Do it. Tomorrow the hard work starts.
Writing a screenplay with Mozzie. DAY OFF:
I will write on Sundays. No doubt, I will either take notes from a draft that needs loving and do about two hours of work from 5am to 7am.
But the rest of the day, I give it over to GOD. (Or Good Orderly Direction if you do the Artist Way, or Alistair as I like to call him on him days, or Adisa on her days, Adisa in African means. I am grave, or I speak gravely. Bryn on they days. God is everything, but sometimes I like to address them depending on the particular dilemma I'm facing. as in, Damn it Alistair! sounds much better when I have a boy issue! When things are tough , Adisa and I, we have some compasionate words. etc. etc. )
Anyhow! wow, completely off topic today. One of the things I will do however, is read a script in bed tonight. that I admire and mine it for educational purposes. (Alistair, Adisa and Bryn know I'm single I so I won't be having sex, but we'll have a talk about that in private between the four of us.)
For this purpose. I have put two scripts on my blog, you can go and download or read on screen. BLACKKKLANSMAN - which is a gorgeous read. Really a revolution on the page. But also 146 pages, long, which you will be told. Don't do. It must be 110 pages, and I will always say. The story needs to be the length it needs to be. I am about to send out the production draft of a script that came out way too long, so I am using this as an example of why my script should be too long too.
And one of my favorite tv pilots of all times - ALIAS - Truth Be Told. If you wanna read a script by JJ ABRAMS that feels like you're right in it. This has been one of the most instructive scripts of my lifetime.
Have a beautiful Sunday!
Alistair be with you, and also Adisa, and also Bryn!
Day 6 - Step Six
Writing a screenplay with Mozzie.
Today is going to be another easy day. Because the process of structuring your story takes time, it will make the actual writing of it go by in a flash.
Today, you are going to write the very last scene in your movie, or pilot. The last image, the last scene, it can be 12 words, or it can be a fully sketched out scene.
It will be the last movie of the scene.
Why do I do this?
1. Because if you don't know where your race ends, then you don't know where you are going.
2. Everytime I have set a writing ending goal, I have overshot it, It means that i will know where i am going, but around page 27 of my screenplay the characters, if you'd done the work of getting to know them, will start making their own choices, and it will be the exciting fight you will have with them, you will want to take them to this ending, they will want to do things their way. (Yes, I'm serious, characters do that!) and somehow, you will get a better ending to your film than you've ever imagined.
But first you have got to know where it is that you want to go.
As in life, if you don't know where you want to end up, you are just letting the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune decide your life for you. The same with a story, and if you are the god of your story, then decide early how you want things to end.
Believe me, the ending you will get to will be magical. And It will look nothing like the ending you will come up today. But making that decision, will give you a roadmap, a goal, and allow you to fight to get there, changing your characters along the way, and getting to the ending they were meant to have.
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